Just a quick hit on Venus and Adonis:
I know. It’s March.
Time to move on from Venus and Adonis to Lucrece. No.
When we last left Venus and Adonis, she had found her not-quite-lover’s body gored by the boar, his wound weeping “purple tears” (1054). So we have seen the death, and today, as we finish the poem, we have the aftermath…
When we last left Venus and Adonis, (and the careful-reading of you among us will have noticed–as I did not until this very morning–that I cut Friday’s section short), Venus at the end of stanza 128 has told Adonis that it was time for him to start procreating (cough sex cough), to pass that beauty on to future generations…this after her releasing him, him telling her he’s going to hunt boar in the morning, and this final argument from her.
Continue reading “Venus and Adonis: stanzas 129-76, or “despair and hope””
When last we left our titular not-quite-lovers, in stanza 101 of Venus and Adonis, she had–upon learning that he was leaving her to hunt the boar in the morning–fallen to the ground, pulling him down onto her, and kissed him some more in hopes of changing his mind.
But even the poem’s narrator knows this is…
OK, so yesterday, I left you hanging, mid- (actually late-)section of Venus and Adonis. Adonis has just told Venus that if she’ll let him go, he’ll give her a kiss. She accepts, throws her arms around his neck in an embrace, and they kiss.
And what a kiss this is…
OK, so it’s been a while… and I can’t vouch for the quality of today’s discussion, but we’ve got to get back to the matters at hand, the matter being Adonis and the hands being those of Venus, in the poem Venus and Adonis.
When we last left our not-yet-(ever)-lovers, after Adonis has broken free from Venus, his horse breaks away from his reins and runs off to dally with a female horse; Venus corners Adonis again, and tells him that he should make like the horses do, and learn to love.
OK, after Friday’s bawd-fest, let’s slow things down a little with the next 28 stanzas of Venus and Adonis, ones that give us some bizarre description, a depiction of nature that is obviously a metaphor for how our titular characters should be (?) behaving, and more Adonis with “no no” on his lips and Venus with “yes yes” in her eyes.
As part of our new plan, Thursdays are our “media” day, on which I’ll focus on a non-text version of Shakespeare (or some other Shakespeare-related work). But today, even though it’s Saturday, as we are in the beginnings of our Venus and Adonis, I’ve updated the Bill / Shakespeare Project YouTube channel to include a playlist for Venus and Adonis…
[EXPLICIT CONTENT, ADULT LANGUAGE AND SOPHOMORIC SEX HUMOR AHEAD… SKIP IF EASILY OFFENDED.]
You’ve been warned: Get out now while you can.
Germaine Greer, lecturer and author of Shakespeare’s Wife, has claimed that due to its perversity, burlesque, and eroticism, Venus and Adonis was the Fifty Shades of Gray of its day. It certainly was popular–as seen in the number of editions published (16 before 1647). And Eric Partridge, he of the great dictionary Shakespeare’s Bawdy, refers to the poem as a “cornucopia of amorous phraseology” (Shakespeare’s Bawdy, Partridge, Eric. New York: Routledge Classics, 2001; page 48).
So, while the whole poem has sexual imagery (remember the few hints I mentioned on Wednesday), I’m going to focus today on stanzas 32-40, where we gets some pretty damned fine double entendre… Continue reading “BAWDY Venus and Adonis: stanzas 32-40, or “bottoms and hillocks and mountains, oh my!” [EXPLICIT]”